During most of the sunny days and pleasantly breezy nights in Australia, an outdoor space is a great addition to your restaurant. And regardless if it’s a big, spacious terrace, or a small, cute patio, you should always make the outdoors of your restaurant a pleasant place to enjoy a gourmet dish with a good glass of wine.
Having this in mind, I am certain you already have hundreds of ideas on your mind about how to turn your messy outdoor space into a gorgeous and welcoming area for your guests. To make it easier for you, we shortened that to 5 great ideas you should consider if you want to attract more guests.
Invest in Stylish and Durable Furniture
Just like your interior, a well-chosen, stylish and unique patio furniture commercial set is key to turning your outdoor space into a dining oasis.
Get a Good Dining Furniture Set
When it comes to dining areas, dining furniture is the element that’s most worth investing in. Knowing that, you want to make sure you look for stylish, comfortable and durable pieces to seat your guests. The range of commercial patio furniture for dining is huge – from sleek, minimalist designs for the modern, casual patio to weathered wooden chairs and bulky, raw tables with patterned tablecloths for a gorgeous bohemian garden feel. Before you picture your brand new stylish terrace, make sure that the outdoor dining furniture generally matches your indoor style – from the colours, the textures and materials used to the overall ambience.
Textures and materials being mentioned, except for providing stylish and comfortable dining sets for your guests, you also want to get a high-quality, durable solution when you buy outdoor furniture. Before you go shopping, you should know that buying outdoor furniture is entirely different from buying furniture for indoor use. There are many outdoor factors to consider, such as rain and moisture that can cause mould, rust, corrosion and warping, sun and high temperatures that can cause fading and cracking, the wind that is the greatest enemy to lightweight furniture, etc.
To avoid the damage made by the weather conditions, make sure you choose a durable weather-resistant material. If you go for the wooden effect, avoid softwood, and always pick weather-friendly hardwood materials, such as teak, eucalyptus, ironwood or shorea. If you decide to go for metal furniture, the best choices are stainless steel, aluminium and wrought iron. Also, be careful with the metal surfaces and make sure you avoid placing them directly in the sun as they get hot easily, which can make for an unpleasant experience for the guests.
Make It More Comfortable with Lounge Sets
For the guests that want to enjoy a cup of coffee in the sunny mornings or a glass of wine during the breezy summer nights, you can have comfy lounge sets outside. But, before you hit your favourite outdoor furniture shop, you should carefully make a functional layout plan for the furniture. Throwing a couple of lounges between the dining sets can be an unpleasant and messy picture that can discourage the guests to dine at your restaurant. Make sure you arrange every spot of your outdoor area in a way that will provide your employees and guests with enough space to move around, and enough distance to maintain the privacy between the tables.
After you find the perfect spots for the lounge settings, except for picking stylish lounges that will blend in with the rest of the space, pay attention to the durability and materials again. In addition to the hardwood and metal constructions we mentioned before, lounges are upholstered with different fabrics.
So, make sure they are made from fabrics that are resistant to common outdoor issues and can maintain their colour longer. For this matter, avoid natural fibres, that tend to lose their vibrancy and break down easily. Choose synthetic fabrics, like olefin, acrylic fibre and polyester for the best weather resistance. Also, if the coffee tables are made of tempered glass, make sure you don’t place them directly in the sun, because they can cause glare that can make the guests feel uncomfortable.
Add a Special Touch with a Hanging Chair
A cosy hanging chair can be an interesting piece of garden furniture in you have an empty corner in your outdoor area. Not only does it elevate the general aesthetics, but it can be a comfortable piece of furniture if you make the right choice. Choose an egg-shaped construction for extra comfort, comfy cushions made from the waterproof fabrics we mentioned before, and watch the guests enjoy themselves in your little sunny garden.
Set Up an Outdoor Patio Kitchen for a Genuine Al Fresco Experience
To maintain a good reputation and image of your restaurant, you probably know the importance of food transparency. Aside from listing the ingredients and having allergy labels on the menus, why not give your guests a peek into the whole process of cooking with an outdoor kitchen?
If you already started considering one, have in mind that buying outdoor cooking appliances and supplies is a different thing than buying for an indoor kitchen, same as the furniture. In the case of outdoor kitchen elements, materials such as neolith and weatherproof boards are perfect for cabinets and benchtops, because they are heat-resistant, UV-resistant, and don’t stain easily, which makes them highly durable.
When it comes to the appliances and the electricity, make sure that they are waterproof and meet the Australian standards and regulations. All these functional features merged with the stylish looks of the patio kitchen can increase the trust your guests have and provide them with a genuine al fresco dining experience.
Surround the Whole Area in Lush Greenery
The atmosphere of your restaurant’s outdoor space is equally important as the indoors. Sometimes, the weather conditions can prevent you from adding expensive decorations to match your indoor design, but don’t worry, you always have a trick up your sleeve. Since it’s an outdoor area, you have the advantage of being able to add all kinds of greenery.
Besides bringing freshness and colour, plants are a quite cheap solution at the same time. Go for replica trees for a dramatic touch, wall planters for creating a vertical garden or privacy screens that will look amazing combined with the gorgeous pieces of patio furniture you chose.
If gardening and greenery are not much your cup of tea, hand over the things to the experts. There are a lot of companies that offer natural or artificial greenery to make your patio look captivating.
Add Some Cute Decorations
The small and “insignificant” decor items have the power to bring your restaurant patio to life. But, you should know that the art of decorating means a lot more than just adding simple ornaments to the tables.
For instance, adding a concrete fire pit is the perfect way to create a cosy, romantic ambience. You can even consider fire pit coffee tables as a great addition to the lounges to adjust the atmosphere for the lovebirds visiting you. If your patio is an area prone to mosquitoes and bugs, the smoke coming out of the fire pit can be a natural repellent that reduces the number of bugs buzzing around your guests.
On the other hand, if your restaurant is a place where people go to get the most of the sunny weather, a waterfall or a fountain can be a refreshing element that helps create a natural ambience for your guests.
Don’t stop by the fire pits and fountains. Have in mind the other details to make it perfect. Stylish rugs, cushions, throws and smaller ornaments are always a good idea to add an interesting touch to the space and adjust the patio’s feel to your restaurant’s needs.
Create a Glamorous Effect with Lighting
The element that has the power to make every simple place look extra glamorous is the lighting. Knowing this, you should never compensate for the way your patio is lit.
There are a lot of different ways to hatch up a great lighting scheme. For instance, you can go for the cute hanging patio lights, as the simplest idea. You can hang them in a straight line, V or X patterns, or simply drape them in a random shape, according to the shape of the place.
If you don’t want lights hanging above people’s heads, you can always go for lighting the decks, fences and archways of your patio. The range of ideas can be countless if you’re creative.
Other Things You Might Want to Consider
Even if you have the most gorgeously decorated area with a breathtaking fire pit and romantic lighting, there are some details that can ruin the experience and chase away the guests. The most expensive, stylish and comfortable furniture means nothing if it’s dirty, sticky and full of stains. Except for sweeping the outdoor area on daily basis, polishing your restaurant furniture regularly will help maintain its glow and colour, even after a couple of years of using.
Also, for the breezier nights, make sure you get heating panels and cozy blankets to warm up your guests, which can also improve the aesthetic of the outdoor area. When you make sure that you checked everything on this list, you’re all set for delivering the best al fresco dining experience for your guests.